The rank of Reichserzmarschall was originally created before the 12th century, during the time of the Holy Roman Empire. During the era of the German Empire and World War I, no one in the German Army held the rank.
During World War II Luftwaffe Commander-in-Chief Hermann Göring was the only man elevated to Reichsmarschall. He was promoted by Adolf Hitler during the 19 July 1940 Field Marshal Ceremony primarily to denote him as senior to the other commanders of the Wehrmacht's general staff made Generalfeldmarschall that day and establish him as Hitler's successor to leadership of the Reich.
Nevertheless, following a late April 1945 telegram from Göring asking Hitler for permission to assume leadership, Hitler relieved Göring of his duties and named a new successor, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz. The appointment was made on or before the day of Hitler's suicide (30 April 1945), but notification by Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels was delayed until 1 May 1945.
| Nazi Germany
- Haskew 2011, p. 46.
- Göring also held many other prestigious titles, such as Reich Master Hunter and Commissioner Plenipotentiary of the Four-Year Plan
- Haskew 2011, pp. 25, 46, 119.